My Mission Statement
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
First of all, I'd like to speak on a lovely,lovely MG novel, A GREYHOUND OF A GIRL, by Irish author Roddy Doyle. I would never have picked this book up (for a variety of reasons, but it didn't really appeal much to me), but a great bookseller recommended it to me. She was so enthusiastic that I purchased it, and I'm so glad I did. What a precious story! This book is a middle grade novel about a young girl, Mary, whose grandmother is about to die. Mary meets a person she thinks is a new neighbor, only she turns out to be a ghost, here to help her grandmother die without fear. As the story unfolds, we learn that this ghost isn't just a random figure but a person from her grandmother's past. Together, Mary, her mother, her grandmother, and the ghost, Tansy, spend (spoiler alert) Mary's grandmother's last night on a special trip together. The ending is so lovely that I will never again hear leaves without remembering the laughter of a loved one. I would highly recommend this novel for anyone who has ever lost a loved one and especially for a girl who has suffered that hardship. (I'm pretty sure most boys would not care for this book as much as girls) The lilting Irish brogue integrates into the language in a way that is distinct and special but not so much that it makes the book hard to read. Secondly, I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day week-end. I had a conversation with my kids yesterday about whether or not we should actually enjoy Memorial Day week-end, after all, it is a time to remember those of us who died for our freedoms, for the very life we live. Shouldn't we, as my son asked, have more of a quiet, serious day to remember them? We indulged in a grand debate, and we all had differing opinions along the gamut. However, we concluded that if any of us had given our lives for our country and the livelihood is offers, we would want people to celebrate and enjoy the day in our honor. We would want them to be mindful of the sacrifice, as well, but to enjoy it all the same. Which brings me to the word: sacrifice. I heard a small portion of a radio show this morning that involved a visit to a military hospital where severely injured veterans (those who lost limbs) were going through rehab. When interviewed about their circumstances, every single one of them said they would do it again. Every one of them. God bless them. They believe so strongly in the cause of freedom, the strength of American, and their own sacrifice, that they would DO IT AGAIN. That is mind-blowing to me. Truly. I am ashamed to say that sometimes I think about sacrifice in terms of being a mother--you give up certain things to raise your children. Sometimes I think of sacrifice in terms of doing laundry or cleaning up my house or working in the yard. Sometimes I think "I will sacrifice a morning of this activity, and then I will be rewarded with a clean house, laundry, or a pleasant sit in the garden." But that is a joke. Really. That's not sacrifice. NOT EVEN CLOSE. I am not even fit to use the word. I don't know the first thing about sacrifice--not compared to these amazing men and women who have truly sacrificed themselves for our country. So I challenge you to take Memorial Day beyond one day. Take it into your life. What if we all sacrificed for our country. What if we offered 1 hour a week in service to our communities? What if we gave 1 hour a week to write letters of ENCOURAGEMENT to our public servants, military personnel and/or family members? What if we sacrificed a new bathing suit to make a donation to a veteran and/or a college fund for the child of a veteran who died in the line of duty? What if we ALL truly sacrificed like these men and women? Why not? I challenge you this week to write a letter of thanks, deliver a meal to a military family, or make a donation to a cause for veterans. Let's follow their model of sacrifice, however small it may be, and pass it on.
Posted by Donna Jones Koppelman at 7:14 AM